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Has there ever been a period in automotive history where a higher purchase price automatically equate to proportionally fewer mechanical failures? Historically, the white glove customer service sold some pretty unreliable, but opulent cars.
 
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Guaranteed? No. However, there is a good chance that any newly purchased vehicle will require a loaner, be it for warranty repair, or service work. For the JD Power 2022 Vehicle Dependability Study, measuring 3 years of ownership on 2019 models here is the average reported "problems" per 100 vehicles

"Owners of mass market vehicles experience fewer problems: Mass market brands average 190 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)."

Link here: 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study

That means (again on average) you can expect your brand new vehicle to potentially have ~2 defects that need repaired. Supply chain remains a huge hold up too. Let's say it's the nav unit that is bad. Dealer tells you "come back in 3 weeks when the part is here and we will get it installed same day". Halfway through the fix they also notice some other associated part is bad, and maybe they can fast track the part in next business day. Well if it's Friday, your car is torn apart and undriveable, so now you need a loaner.

This is just the reality we live in, particularly now with supply chain shortages.

It's not just catastrophic failures that require a loaner, it's also some fixes take a lot of time and care to properly disassemble, repair, and reassemble. Especially the more advanced vehicles become.
This a big part of why I decided not to buy something I liked for my daily. I fully expect a newer Charger to have even more failures than my fairly simple 2010 LX had. I fully expect the car to cost more and be less reliable. So I didn't buy another and went with something cheap and boring.

Needing a loaner does not mean the vehicle was inoperable. Maybe the repair can’t be completed the first day so you’re given an overnight loaner to prevent having to make another trip back.
Maybe a repair is started and they find out there’s another part needed that can’t be gotten until tomorrow.
I’ve had both those happen to me and went home in a loaner. Much more efficient than having to get the car back, go home, and return the next day.
We shouldn't be accepting or expecting such widespread failures on new vehicles. Could be just me but I find it unacceptable. None of my 80s and 90s cars from any brand ever suffered anything worth noting until well after 100,000km. I refuse to accept poor build quality as normal. If high cost and unreliability is to be expected with all the technology, maybe it's time we step back from it.

The more expensive a car, the more likely it is they will give you a loaner even for minor repairs if they have to send out for parts.
This might be accurate but I personally don't accept it as ok. I was ready to buy another Charger or Ram 2500 6.4 manual, but there's no way I will now after continuing to read so many posts over the years of the exact same problems. Not to mention my LX was keeping me under it as much as driving it.

Has there ever been a period in automotive history where a higher purchase price automatically equate to proportionally fewer mechanical failures? Historically, the white glove customer service sold some pretty unreliable, but opulent cars.
Some guys at work have Lexus and Genesis cars that were very expensive. A couple are over 150,000km with absolutely no failures aside from wear parts.
 

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Other than a software update for the HVAC system, my '19 Charger SXT AWD has been trouble and rattle free. These cars, the Durango, and Ram Classic may be more old tech, but given the electronic and other problems I am seeing for the GC L, the Wagoneer, and the DT Ram, I'll take any of them over these new models right now.
 

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I don't know that cars have ever, as a class, been more reliable. The “simple” cars of the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and even 1990s were nowhere near as reliable as today's cars.

Since around 1990, certain luxury cars did provide fewer breakdowns, mostly Lexus.
 

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I don't know that cars have ever, as a class, been more reliable. The “simple” cars of the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and even 1990s were nowhere near as reliable as today's cars.

Since around 1990, certain luxury cars did provide fewer breakdowns, mostly Lexus.
I would agree, mostly. But in my experience as a guy who's had 30 vehicles or more over the last 30 years I truly feel that the 2000s was the best era. The vehicles wife and I were buying in the 2000s were REALLY good. Almost zero problems. Never went to the dealership for repairs. Then, somewhere around 2014ish or 2015ish things started to go the other direction, and mostly because of all the technology, connectivity, and safety equipment. Now it seems like you can't buy a new vehicle that won't need repairs under warranty again. All of the Jeeps we've bought in the last 4 years have needed repairs if not multiple repairs. My father's new GMC truck has been in the shop 3 times. My mother's Ford Edge is always having issues and right now the multi-media screen is blanking out on her.

It seems to me that we hit the peak of the curve in the 2000s and now we're getting less reliable vehicles again because they're becoming too sophisticated.
 

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I will just put this here. Directly copied from the 2021 JD Power VDS 2021

Following are key findings of the 2021 study:
  • Vehicle dependability improves to best level ever: The industry average is 121 PP100—the lowest in the study’s history—and a 13 PP100 (10%) improvement from 134 PP100 in 2020. This is a much greater rate of improvement than in the past two years, which had improvements of 2 PP100 and 6 PP100, respectively.
 

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Hello, All!

For any users who may either be experiencing vehicle performance concerns or have questions we encourage you to reach out to our team via private message. We're here to listen.

Hannah
Mopar Cares
 
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